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Category Archive for: ‘Competition’

  • Corporate Inversions and the Prescription Drug World

    There has been a lot of news lately about increased use of a tax-saving transaction known as a “corporate inversion.”  Among the parties that have recently discussed these transactions are several U.S. pharmaceutical companies and drugstore chain Walgreens. In an inversion, a U.S. company acquires …

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  • CBO Confirms Competition Works to Reduce Medicare Part D Costs

    The Congressional Budget Office has just released a new report, “Competition and the Cost of Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program,” that details how the Medicare Part D program has successfully harnessed competitive forces to bring down prescription drug costs. First some really encouraging news.  According to …

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  • Specialty Drugs to Skyrocket Medicare Part D Costs

    The 2014 Medicare Trustees Report has just been released, and its projections for Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit costs are sobering. First the good news.  Medicare Part D expenditures for 2013 came in lower than previously projected.  Actual Part D benefit payments of $69.3 …

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  • The MODDERN Cures Act – Part 1

    In September 2013, U.S. Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ) introduced the MODDERN Cures Act (Modernizing Our Drug and Diagnostics Evaluation and Regulatory Network Cures Act of 2013 – H.R. 3116). In a strong show of bipartisan support, this bill recently had 64 co-sponsors who span both …

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  • Merck Stung by Court Ruling on Co-Pay Coupons

    We have written previously about how name brand pharmaceutical companies offer co-pay coupons as a way of getting around health plan formulary incentives for members to choose less-expensive, but equally effective prescription medications.  In a recent development, the Federal District Court in New Jersey has ruled that …

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  • Sovaldi: A Poster Child for Predatory Pricing

    In a previous post, we discussed how patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections will benefit from Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) – one of a new class of blockbuster HCV drugs. It was reported that 95% of patients were cured by this drug during a 12-week …

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  • Federal Trade Commission Ongoing Efforts to Keep Low-Cost Generics Available

    Generic drugs have helped to save the U.S. healthcare system at least $1.2 trillion over ten years.  But those savings cannot be taken for granted.  Brand-name pharmaceutical companies, and sometimes generic drug companies, have shown that if left to their own devices, they may seek …

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  • Developments and Spending Trends in Biologic Drugs

    Compared to traditional drugs synthesized from chemical processes, biologics are derived from living, biological sources such as humans, animals or microorganisms. Biologics are large molecules like proteins and monoclonal antibodies rather than small molecule lab-synthesized drugs. These drugs have wide applications in cancer, cardiovascular and …

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  • Academic Witnesses Criticize PBM Compensation Disclosure Mandates

    As we noted in an earlier piece, the ERISA Advisory Council this year is studying the issue of whether pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) should be required to make compensation and fee disclosures to employee health plan sponsors.  On June 19, 2014, the Advisory Council held …

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  • FTC: Drug Company’s Use of Safety Rules to Impede Generic Competition Could Violate Antitrust Laws

    In an article last year, we explained how branded drug companies are misusing safety rules to delay entry of cost-saving generic competition.  We included a link to a New York Times story, “Drug Makers Use Safety Rules to Block Generics,” detailing this anti-consumer trend.  As …

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